Introducing Steinberg Licensing

Simply start your software, sign in with your Steinberg ID, and you’re up and running instantly — with no need for a hardware key or dongle. Steinberg Licensing is simple, quick, and flexible.

Where we came from

We know that you value your creative tools highly, and that protecting your investment in those tools is important to you. It’s important to us, too, as minimizing usage of unlicensed, pirated or cracked software means that we are able to invest as much as possible in building new and improved creative tools for our customers.

For many years, Steinberg products have used our eLicenser system, with its combination of the USB-eLicenser hardware key and the Soft-eLicenser software key, and it has served us and our customers well. But times change, and for many years now our customers have been asking us for extra freedom and flexibility.

Today, many musicians are able to use a laptop or other portable computer as their main music-making computer: but more and more these devices have limited USB ports, and plugging in a hardware key is inconvenient or even impossible.

Today, many musicians have two or more computers: but the eLicenser system only allows the software to be used on a single computer with a Soft-eLicenser, or on the computer to which the USB-eLicenser is connected.

Today, many musicians expect to be able to try out a new software tool simply by downloading it from the web: but customers have had to buy a USB-eLicenser before they can try out Cubase Pro.

These and other changes in the way musicians want to buy and use software mean that it is time to say goodbye to the eLicenser system and leave it behind.

Where we are going

We are beginning the transition from eLicenser to the new Steinberg Licensing system. Over time, as new versions of our creative tools and instruments are introduced, our product line will use Steinberg Licensing. We expect the overall transition will take between one and two years.

Steinberg Licensing will provide greater convenience, more flexibility, and enable you to use your Steinberg software in new, more powerful ways. For example, single-user licenses can be activated on three computers, so you can easily run your software in your studio and on the road. You won’t need to remember your USB-eLicenser when you travel or need to work at a new location: you can simply download your software, sign in with your Steinberg ID, and you will be up and running right away.

Later in 2022, we will also be introducing dedicated support for institutional and enterprise licensing, making it easier for schools, colleges, universities, and businesses to deploy, manage and use Steinberg software.

How it works

Steinberg Licensing is an identity-based license management system, where your identity as our customer is at the heart of everything. Whether you are an individual customer, or you represent an organization, educational institution, or enterprise, your entitlement to use Steinberg products flows from your Steinberg ID.

Signing up for a Steinberg ID is as simple as entering your email address, choosing a secure password, and verifying your new account. It only takes a couple of minutes — and if you are an existing Steinberg customer, you probably already have a Steinberg ID.

Online Activation

With Steinberg Licensing, you can simply download your purchased software, run it, sign in with your Steinberg ID, and you’re up and running right away. When you sign in, your computer contacts Steinberg over the Internet to check your license, record some information that identifies the computer you’re signing in from, and activates your software.

After activation, you can disconnect from the internet altogether if you need to, and run your software indefinitely without reconnecting.

This online activation system also allows the flexibility to activate your software on three computers at once – and if you buy a new computer or temporarily need to use a different one, you can easily release your license from one computer to activate another.

Managing your licenses

You can check the status of your licenses using the new Steinberg Activation Manager software, which will be automatically installed when you install software that uses Steinberg Licensing. Steinberg Activation Manager lists your licensed products and allows you to activate them on your computer, or release a license if you want to activate on another computer.

If you need to release a license from a computer you no longer have access to, our technical support team can help.

More questions?

We know that the introduction of Steinberg Licensing is a big change for our customers, as well as for us at Steinberg. For answers to some frequently asked questions, please click below.

December 15, 2021: Updated licensing terms on “Online Activation”:

Based on the feedback we received from our customers, we have decided to make changes to our initial concept. First, instead of reconnecting to the internet within 30 days, once your software has been activated on your computer, it won’t need to contact our Steinberg Licensing server again for the purposes of activation. Second, we have decided to increase the maximum number of activations from two to three computers per single-user license.